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    Default Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Regeneration is an alluring ability. Maybe you want to play as a Wolverine type character, or maybe you just like being extra tough and unkillable. Maybe you're designing a half-troll race and want to incorporate their regenerative abilities. Incorporating regeneration as a racial ability, or as a feat, is difficult to balance, however. The Champion only gets it at 18th level, when most pretenses of game balance have been all but abandoned. Most instances of regeneration exist on high CR NPCs, and usually ones that would serve as an antagonist. They're boss fights. The problem with these regeneration abilities is that they don't distinguish between in-combat regeneration and out-of-combat regeneration. This isn't normally a problem, as boss monsters will really only care about combat, and the Champion is already at a level where everyone is getting gamebreaking class features.

    So in order to implement regeneration as a feat or racial trait, potentially available from 1st level and onward, we need to make a distinction between in-combat and out-of-combat regeneration. This is difficult because balanced in-combat regeneration speeds become overpowered for out-of-combat, while balanced out-of-combat regeneration speeds practically don't exist in-combat. Consider that regenerating even 1 HP per round means regenerating 10 HP a minute, or 600 HP an hour. 1 HP per round is too low to be in-combat viable, but too high to be out-of-combat balanced. This points to a necessity of using two different mechanics for in-combat and out-of-combat, rather than trying to bend one system to fit both needs.

    All that said, what we need from a good regeneration mechanic that needs to be balanced from 1st level onward is: in-combat HP regen, out-of-combat HP regen, and limb/body regrowth (a perk usually included with regenerative powers). As such, here's my attempt at presenting, let's say, a feat that grants regeneration.

    Regeneration
    Although your regenerative abilities aren't as impressive as those of a troll or vampire, you still heal much more quickly than most other creatures.

    Small cuts and scrapes heal almost instantly. At the start of each of your turns, you gain special bonus hit points equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1) as long as you have at least 1 hit point. These bonus hit points act like temporary hit points in every way, except that you can benefit from other sources of temporary hit points at the same time. If you take [e.g. fire] damage, you immediately lose these bonus hit points before that damage is applied, and you don't gain them at the start of your next turn.

    More serious wounds take longer to heal. At the end of every hour, you regain hit points equal to your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus as long as you have at least 1 hit point the entire time. If you took [e.g. fire] damage at any point during that hour, you don't regain hit points from this trait.

    If a body part is severed, you can reattach that body part during a short rest. If you lose a part of your body entirely, you can regenerate it over a period of several days. It takes 10 - your Constitution modifier days (minimum 1 day) to regenerate a body part. If you take [e.g. fire] damage, or if you don't have at least 1 hit point for that entire day, that day doesn't count toward regenerating a body part. You can only regenerate one limb, head, or torso at a time.

    Now, maybe you're not thrilled about this. Maybe you like the general idea, but think it may need to be tweaked slightly. Let's go over my reasoning for handling it this way.

    In-Combat HP Regen. Temp HP gives nearly the same effect as regaining HP, assuming you're taking damage every round, so this should create a similar feeling to regeneration in-combat. Because of the way temp HP work, the "fake" regeneration only works during combat, so out-of-combat regeneration can be handled separately. Having this stack with other sourced of temp HP means that those other sources aren't devalued by this ability (and of course "true" regeneration wouldn't devalue them, either). The use of temp HP instead of "true" HP regen also circumvents cheese strategies that involve fighting defensively while you regain your HP, basically allowing you to fight indefinitely.

    Although it's technically possible to start with 20 CON at 1st level (rolling an 18 on a +2 CON race), the most we can realistically expect would be a 16, which means 3 temp HP every round. Compare and contrast Heavy Armor Master, a half-feat that gives 3 points of damage reduction (but only against nonmagical BPS damage). Damage reduction is stronger than temp HP per round, but temp HP applies to any type of damage (except [e.g. fire]).

    Some might object that you can get the temp HP while at max HP. This might matter at 1st level, but will make less and less of a difference as your level increases and your max HP becomes a lot larger proportionally than the temp HP granted by this trait. You can also think of it as "pre-healing" the damage before you take it, especially since it doesn't actually restore hit points, allowing you to come out of a fight with full HP if the enemies weren't able to overcome your regen speed.

    Out-of-Combat HP Regen. Choosing a time interval requires a bit of care. Regaining HP any faster than every minute makes it combat viable (heck, even every minute is sort of combat viable, if you can drag combat out without dying). An interval of a day or longer would only ever come into play should you neglect to long rest. The optimal intervals seem to be 10 minutes or 1 hour. I'd say there could be two primary schools of thought here.

    In the first, your goal is for the PC to almost always enter combat with a minimum amount of HP, usually half your max. Healing is for when you want to top yourself off. With this school of thought, you want faster regen, but capped. So you'd probably go for the 10 minute interval, but might even opt for a 1 minute interval.

    In the second, your goal is for the PC to gradually regain HP during downtime without spending resources. Healing is for when you expect another fight soon, whereas it is the regeneration that will top you off in between fights. With this school of thought, you want slower regen, but uncapped. A 10 minute or hour interval seems the optimal choice. Don't forget that a long rest restores all HP anyway.

    For reference, the Ring of Regeneration (Very Rare item) regens at a rate of 1d6 HP every 10 minutes (or 3.5 average per 10 minutes, 21 average per hour). The Ioun Stone of Regeneration (Legendary item) regens 15 HP per hour. No, I don't know why the legendary item regenerates HP slower than the very rare item. Another thing to consider is that using die rolls will probably slow the game down, so flat numbers help things move along.

    If the out-of-combat regeneration doesn't feel helpful because you're getting into combat too often, then the in-combat regeneration should make up for it, and vice versa.

    Limb Regrowth. Not much to say here. It works, and it requires you to go for a few days without the missing body part. Lose too many limbs all at once and you'll have to spend a few weeks out of commission while you regrow everything. That said, I don't think there's actually a way within the rules to lose body parts, except by DM fiat, so this probably won't see much use for most people.

    General. Note that each of the three parts also allows for damage of a specific type to suspend regeneration. Trolls, of course, see this with acid and fire. For vampires, it's radiant damage or holy water. Fire is a good one as it's reasonably common without being ubiquitous (BPS wouldn't be a good idea because it's too common, radiant isn't common enough, etc.). They also require you to have 1 HP in order to benefit from it, so this doesn't help you if you get knocked out.

    Regeneration of any kind is a potent ability, so if you want the creature to actually be defeatable, it's recommended that you program some kind of weakness that temporarily turns regeneration off. If the creature is an antagonist, then it's up to the players to discover this weakness and exploit it during the fight. If the creature is a PC, then this weakness gives them something to feel anxious about, and it gives the DM another tool with which to control the difficulty of an encounter or environment. PCs with flaws/weakness are generally more fun and interesting than those who are perfect and have no weaknesses.

    How does this line up with your thinking on this subject? Too strong? Too weak? Maybe try another way of handling it? I'm not sure myself if I'm happy with this version, so let me know what you think.

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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    I see where you're going, and I think "Bonus HP" (which would stack with Temporary Hit Points) is a good way to go about it. I don't see a real problem with your long-term mechanics, nor your reattachment mechanics.

    How does this interact with the existing healing rules, though? What if I take a short rest... does Regeneration just add 5 HP to the amount I heal, and I can spend my HD like normal?
    The Cranky Gamer
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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Yeah, there's no reason the regeneration would stop while you're resting, so you'll get a few extra HP every time you short rest.

    Another variant of out-of-combat regen that I considered was something like regaining a hit die every hour, but letting you roll a hit die every minute or 10 minutes. So, you can regenerate quickly by spending hit dice, and then gradually regain those hit dice. I think the reason I didn't go with this was because it devalued short rests. But depending on the feel you want, it might be able to achieve it better.

    As another aside, I feel like a regeneration ability like this becomes a lot stronger if you're using gritty realism resting rules. Regeneration is kind of weird when everyone can spring back to full health at the start of each day, which is probably why most of the existing regeneration abilities are so potent. If you normally needed a week to get back to full HP, then slower regeneration becomes much more useful, getting you back to full in probably a mere day or two.

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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    No, I don't know why the legendary item regenerates HP slower than the very rare item.
    It could be that you can use a bunch of ioun stones, but only two rings? Or attunement? You raise a good point.

    I do like the "bonus HP" thing and only wish it could be done simpler without hitting a temp HP snag. Bear in mind, for someone taking constant damage, this feels (handwaving!) close to Heavy Armor Master, -3 damage/hit from many attacks. In theory, that could be much more "damage not taken" than the Bonus HP Regen thing.

    I would split the difference and make it a racial feat. 5E has those, right?

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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    I might not even separate "bonus HP" from "Temp HP"... Laura and Logan* just start every turn with 3 temporary HP, if they have fewer than that.

    So, if Laura gets Aid or Armor of Agathys cast on her, she'll start with more than 3 Temporary HP, because that's how those powers work. Once that defense is stripped away, however, she'll start with 3 at the beginning of every turn, if she has 1 or more HP at the start of her turn.

    It's still potent and useful, but it doesn't require making up a new form of temporary HP.

    Another consideration, while I'm sitting here: Change the Temp HP to the Profiency bonus, and apply constitution bonus only when dealing with the long-term healing. So, Laura would get 2 temp HP a round; Logan would get 6. As characters level up, their regeneration keeps pace.

    *Arbitrary decisions to make this discussion easier: Example characters are Laura and Logan. Both have a 16 Constitution. Laura is a level 1 hero, so she has a +2 proficiency bonus; Logan is level 20, so he has a +6.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    It could be that you can use a bunch of ioun stones, but only two rings? Or attunement? You raise a good point.
    I'm pretty sure they both require attunement, and that you can wear any number of rings. A limit of two tings is usually something you see in videogames, partially because those games aren't designed to be able to handling equipping as many rings as you like, and also for game balance purposes. In 5e, attunement mostly takes care of any balance issues for using multiple rings.

    I do like the "bonus HP" thing and only wish it could be done simpler without hitting a temp HP snag. Bear in mind, for someone taking constant damage, this feels (handwaving!) close to Heavy Armor Master, -3 damage/hit from many attacks. In theory, that could be much more "damage not taken" than the Bonus HP Regen thing.
    Damage reduction (as seen with Heavy Armor Master) applies to every time you get hit. Temp HP is only granted once per turn. So if, say, you get hit three times for 3 damage each, HAM will completely eliminate the damage, while this Regeneration feat (with 16 CON) will only absorb the first 3 damage, leaving you still taking 6 damage. However, HAM only applies to nonmagical BPS damage, so if you get hit with a spell then Regeneration will still absorb some of it, while HAM will not.

    I would split the difference and make it a racial feat. 5E has those, right?
    Actually, my specific purpose was to use this as an undead racial feat for the homebrew undead race I've been working on. That said, I think this could also potentially work as a racial trait for something like a half-troll. In any case, it probably wouldn't be available to just any character, and regeneration will probably work the same way regardless of whether we're talking trolls, vampires, or whatever. I could also see this for a warforged, and it would help with a Terminator-themed character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I might not even separate "bonus HP" from "Temp HP"[...]
    It's still potent and useful, but it doesn't require making up a new form of temporary HP.
    I can understand wanting to keep things simple, but at the same time I don't want this to devalue sources of temp HP. If you were actually regaining HP, as you would with the existing regeneration traits, then you would be able to also benefit from temp HP. Since this doesn't actually restore HP, I view it as a small consolation that you're allowed to stack it with temp HP. There's a lot of spells and class features that give temp HP, and I don't want to devalue those. That said, one argument I could see in favor of making the bonus HP just normal temp HP is the fact that stacking it with other sources of temp HP could be unbalanced.

    Another consideration, while I'm sitting here: Change the Temp HP to the Profiency bonus, and apply constitution bonus only when dealing with the long-term healing. So, Laura would get 2 temp HP a round; Logan would get 6. As characters level up, their regeneration keeps pace.
    I agree that it should scale as you level, but I also think it should depend on your CON score. What about CON mod + half your prof. bonus? Or is that too strong? CON's kind of a weird stat; you never want to dump it, but it's also usually not worth it to spend an ASI on it. This would make it a bit more appealing for ASIs. Still, that's up to 8 temp HP every round if you push CON up to 20, so maybe too strong. Maybe half your CON mod + half your prof. bonus? Since they're both halves, then the two haves can add together to round up. For example, a CON of 16 (mod +3) and prof. bonus of +3 would get you half of 6, so 3 temp HP every round.

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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    This is a very interesting concept, and could work for (half)races such as undead/troll - but would also be a nice way to 'curse' a PC similar to lycanthropy. That last part is particularly interesting to me, as it could make for a plot hook in my campaign. Party sets out to defend a village against a group of ravaging mutated trolls, one of the players gets bitten, ends up with this racial feat.

    Personally I see only one slight issue, mostly based off word definition. Regeneration is a means of restoring something that is lost and doesn't create something that didn't previously exist, so to me it would be illogical to have it grant more than someone's max hp. I would add something like "the hit points you gain with this feature cannot exceed your maximum hit points at any time", to keep it true to the actual meaning of regeneration. This also makes it stand out from temp hp a bit more, as those can exceed max hp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I agree that it should scale as you level, but I also think it should depend on your CON score. What about CON mod + half your prof. bonus? Or is that too strong?
    I disagree, I think a racial feat should not benefit from something that's class-related. It should indeed be based off CON, so that you can choose to buff that attribute for a bit more healing.

    To check whether my disagreement was valid I wanted to see if any other racial feats had something similar, but what I found mostly is that they either grant proficiency in an existing skill or improve an already existing profiency - nothing that allows you to add your proficiency bonus to a racial ability (correct me if I'm wrong, I might have overlooked it as I only scanned the lists). This implies that most racial feats are not meant to scale with level, which imho is logical as race and class are separate things. For me this would be a good reason not to add a proficiency bonus to it.
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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Maelynn View Post
    This is a very interesting concept, and could work for (half)races such as undead/troll - but would also be a nice way to 'curse' a PC similar to lycanthropy. That last part is particularly interesting to me, as it could make for a plot hook in my campaign. Party sets out to defend a village against a group of ravaging mutated trolls, one of the players gets bitten, ends up with this racial feat.
    This sounds more like a template. Making something a feat implies needing to actually spend an ASI to get it. If they just get it for free as part of the narrative, that's closer to a template. That said, you can also hand out free feats as a result of the narrative, but using a homebrew feat still implies that there's a way one could spend an ASI to get it outside of story reasons. All that said, this is largely an argument of semantics; you could easily take a template and repackage it as a feat, and vice versa.

    Personally I see only one slight issue, mostly based off word definition. Regeneration is a means of restoring something that is lost and doesn't create something that didn't previously exist, so to me it would be illogical to have it grant more than someone's max hp. I would add something like "the hit points you gain with this feature cannot exceed your maximum hit points at any time", to keep it true to the actual meaning of regeneration. This also makes it stand out from temp hp a bit more, as those can exceed max hp.
    I understand your argument, and agree with it to some extent. Part of the reason I wrote it out the way I did was that I wanted to keep it relatively simple. The simplest, of course, would have been to just use temp HP. I wanted it to stack with temp HP, which required making it a bit more complicated. I could have made it not exceed your max HP, but that would have required being more complicated. What about something like the following?

    Small cuts and scrapes heal almost instantly. At the start of each of your turns, you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier. You only regain hit points this way if you took damage between the start of your previous turn and the start of your current turn, and the amount of hit points regained can't exceed the damage taken. If you take [e.g. fire] damage, you don't regain hit points at the start of your next turn.

    Maybe it's just me, but this seems more complicated and difficult to understand compared to my earlier version. Maybe there's another way I could word it that would read easier?

    I disagree, I think a racial feat should not benefit from something that's class-related. It should indeed be based off CON, so that you can choose to buff that attribute for a bit more healing.
    Defensive Duelist is an example of a feat that scales with proficiency bonus. I don't think racial feats are any different (see also the warforged for an example of a racial trait that scales with proficiency bonus). It's all a question of whether an ability should scale as you level or not. Some abilities would either be overpowered at low levels or practically useless at higher levels if they didn't scale. And besides, making something scale with level has nothing to do with class, it has to do with how strong your character is. If you want something to scale as you level, you could base if off of your level, but if you need smaller numbers then proficiency bonus is a handy proxy for level. Proficiency bonus is also nice to use in some cases because it starts off relatively high (2 out of a max of 6, compared to level 1 out of 20).

    Having thought about it some more, I think I do agree with you that in-combat regeneration need not scale. Out-of-combat regen should scale, because you have more HP at higher levels and it will take longer to regen to full HP. But in-combat, it's not about how many HP you have, it's about how much damage you're taking per round. The damage you take does not scale as you level, rather it scales as you fight harder enemies. A goblin is still a goblin, and deals the same damage when you're level 20 as at level 1. By level 20, though, you should have higher AC and better saving throws, so even a goblin will actually be dealing less damage to you per round, if not per hit.

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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    This sounds more like a template. Making something a feat implies needing to actually spend an ASI to get it. If they just get it for free as part of the narrative, that's closer to a template. That said, you can also hand out free feats as a result of the narrative, but using a homebrew feat still implies that there's a way one could spend an ASI to get it outside of story reasons. All that said, this is largely an argument of semantics; you could easily take a template and repackage it as a feat, and vice versa.
    True, it could be semantics - but looking at the way people can nitpick about rules and wording, it's still an important aspect to take into account. I was comparing it to lycanthropy, which a player can acquire at a later level as well as upon character creation. If the racial abilities gained from the curse are a template, then I concur it would be a template in that situation. Which does lead me to the following question: why would you make this a racial feat and not a set of racial abilities that belong to a (sub)race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I understand your argument, and agree with it to some extent. Part of the reason I wrote it out the way I did was that I wanted to keep it relatively simple. The simplest, of course, would have been to just use temp HP. I wanted it to stack with temp HP, which required making it a bit more complicated. I could have made it not exceed your max HP, but that would have required being more complicated. What about something like the following?

    Small cuts and scrapes heal almost instantly. At the start of each of your turns, you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier. You only regain hit points this way if you took damage between the start of your previous turn and the start of your current turn, and the amount of hit points regained can't exceed the damage taken. If you take [e.g. fire] damage, you don't regain hit points at the start of your next turn.

    Maybe it's just me, but this seems more complicated and difficult to understand compared to my earlier version. Maybe there's another way I could word it that would read easier?
    If you word it like this, it would also mean that regeneration has a short window - if they take 20 damage in turn 1 and then avoid any other damage, they'd stop regenerating in round 3. That doesn't align with the rest of the ability, being that you continue to regenerate even out of combat. If you were to replace that bit with the sentence I had in mind, you could still introduce the cap without limiting the rest of the ability. I also reworded it slightly to fall in line with the regeneration abilities of revenants/trolls/vampires.

    Small cuts and scrapes heal almost instantly. At the start of your turn, you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier if you have at least 1 hit point. The hit points you gain with this feature cannot exceed your maximum hit points at any time. If you take your chosen type of damage*, this trait doesn't function at the start of your next turn.

    * cover this at the start, so that you can refer to it in the rest of the text. Something like "choose one damage type from the following: fire, cold, lightning, poison, acid. If you take any damage of this type, it will impact your regeneration ability as described below."

    Although, looking at the wording of the monsters' regeneration ability, they don't include anything like my sentence. I think the use of 'regain' already sufficiently indicates that the maximum hit points can't be exceeded - you only regain, you do not gain what you didn't have to start with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Defensive Duelist is an example of a feat that scales with proficiency bonus. I don't think racial feats are any different (see also the warforged for an example of a racial trait that scales with proficiency bonus). It's all a question of whether an ability should scale as you level or not. Some abilities would either be overpowered at low levels or practically useless at higher levels if they didn't scale. And besides, making something scale with level has nothing to do with class, it has to do with how strong your character is. If you want something to scale as you level, you could base if off of your level, but if you need smaller numbers then proficiency bonus is a handy proxy for level. Proficiency bonus is also nice to use in some cases because it starts off relatively high (2 out of a max of 6, compared to level 1 out of 20).

    Having thought about it some more, I think I do agree with you that in-combat regeneration need not scale. Out-of-combat regen should scale, because you have more HP at higher levels and it will take longer to regen to full HP. But in-combat, it's not about how many HP you have, it's about how much damage you're taking per round. The damage you take does not scale as you level, rather it scales as you fight harder enemies. A goblin is still a goblin, and deals the same damage when you're level 20 as at level 1. By level 20, though, you should have higher AC and better saving throws, so even a goblin will actually be dealing less damage to you per round, if not per hit.
    Ah yes, I didn't look at Eberron - somehow I still consider that to be 4e and not a part of 5e. Same goes for Ravnica, which is too outlandish for me to be used along with the rest of 5e. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Regarding Warforged, did you mean Integrated Protection? I had a look at it and to me it feels slightly overpowered (medium/heavy not requiring any attribute investment to build AC), but I'll readily admit I'm not well-versed in racial balance so I can't say if it's in line with other racial abilities. I'll just go ahead and consider it a good example.
    The point I meant to make was that proficiency bonus is tied to class level, and I personally don't feel a racial ability should be connected to class level - partly because I believe the two are unrelated, partly because this would gimp multiclassers. Although I'm aware this is more a matter of personal preference - and now that you pointed out a racial ability that does make use of proficiency, my argument that racial abilities don't have it no longer holds water.

    Basing it off character level might make it feel more natural and favours multiclassers a bit more, although I concur it's not as elegant as the streamlined proficiency bonus. There are spells that scale off character level, using increments of 5 levels - for a racial ability like this, that seems a bit steep compared to 5-9-13-17.

    I think splitting in-combat and out-of-combat regeneration is a good idea, and then you could use proficiency bonus on the latter one. It could translate into something like being able to focus on your healing now that you're not distracted by combat.

    If you want to give it a Wolverine feel, maybe you can add something akin to Second Wind: "once per short rest, you can use a bonus action to focus on your regeneration, instantly healing 1d10 + your proficiency bonus. You cannot use this trait if you took damage of your chosen type in the previous round". Instead of the stamina mentioned in Second Wind, you can reword it so that it describes non-superficial wounds closing.
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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Maelynn View Post
    True, it could be semantics - but looking at the way people can nitpick about rules and wording, it's still an important aspect to take into account. I was comparing it to lycanthropy, which a player can acquire at a later level as well as upon character creation. If the racial abilities gained from the curse are a template, then I concur it would be a template in that situation.
    I believe lycanthropy is presented as a template, but instead of actually giving a template there's an infobox that basically says, "Here's how you make someone a lycanthrope: they get this, this, and this, but not this." It's on page 207 of the MM. Vampires have a similar deal. However, half-dragons, dracoliches, and shadow dragons all have proper templates (gee, WotC sure does like dragons, you'd almost think they named their product after them or something).

    As far as semantics, my only concern would be getting caught up in a discussion over whether something should be a feat or template (or whatever) to the point that it detracts from the discussion of the ability itself.

    Which does lead me to the following question: why would you make this a racial feat and not a set of racial abilities that belong to a (sub)race?
    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Incorporating regeneration as a racial ability, or as a feat, is difficult to balance, however...
    So in order to implement regeneration as a feat or racial trait, potentially available from 1st level and onward...
    All that said, what we need from a good regeneration mechanic that needs to be balanced from 1st level onward is...
    I did present it as an either/or, but I had to pick one specific implementation to serve as an example. I mentioned this earlier, but let me go into a bit more detail: My specific purpose was to use this for an undead race. It's based on the fact that some powerful undead, like vampires and revenants, can regenerate (and is also a nod to things like the lich, which doesn't regen HP but can regenerate an entirely new body if it dies). I felt it was too strong for a base racial trait, so instead I made it a racial feat. You can get it, if you want to, but you don't have to if it doesn't fit the character concept you're going for. I have a few other racial feats like that, such as one that grants shapeshifting into an animal, or spiderclimb (again, based on vampires, who seem to get a lot of cool abilities).

    Point is, it could be either a feat or racial feature. While I do have a specific implementation in mind, I thought I'd present it more generally, particular since a half-troll race would probably be a more commonly used implementation of a feature like this than what I'd had planned.

    If you word it like this, it would also mean that regeneration has a short window
    Apologies if this wasn't clear, but this only replaced the in-combat portion of the regeneration feat. Out-of-combat regeneration would still work the same. The intent was for it to function almost identically to the temp HP version, but regenerating real HP after damage, instead of "pre-healing" the damage with temp HP before the damage.

    Small cuts and scrapes heal almost instantly. At the start of your turn, you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier if you have at least 1 hit point. The hit points you gain with this feature cannot exceed your maximum hit points at any time. If you take your chosen type of damage*, this trait doesn't function at the start of your next turn.
    As written, this continues to regenerate, even outside of combat. That's why I used the somewhat convoluted wording about taking damage between this turn and the last turn.

    As for what type of damage stops regeneration, since I'm using it for undead, it will be fire and radiant. If this were for a half-troll, it would be acid and fire. If it were a general feat (i.e. not a racial feat), then I could see allowing someone to choose, but some choices would be clearly better than others.

    Maybe you're right, though. Part of the reason for adding the temp HP on top of your max HP was so that you could still come out of combat with full HP if an enemy couldn't overcome your regeneration. However, this might be an unnecessary concern, as you'll have the bonus HP anyway (so you'll be at "full"), and after an hour you'd regain real HP and be at full for real.

    Regarding Warforged, did you mean Integrated Protection?
    Yep. And yes, it does look pretty strong. The AC eventually gets to be even higher than armor +3. It also weighs nothing, and heavy plating has no STR requirement, so you can safely dump STR, if that's your build. I couldn't say it's stronger than other races, but it definitely has a lot of appeal.

    I really like the envoy as a nice all-around option that can fit with any class. I'd compare it to variant human; both give two +1s and a skill, but the envoy gets an extra +1 CON and all the other warforged traits, plus the integrated tool. Probably worth a feat, to be honest, but that will depend on what build and what feat.

    The point I meant to make was that proficiency bonus is tied to class level,
    It's not, it's tied to character level. You can be a fighter who is proficient in the Arcana skill, and as you take levels in fighter your competence with Arcana will increase. Is your effectiveness with Arcana tied to your abilities as a fighter? Not really, it's just that as a higher level character you are more competent all around. As in, it's not that you're a higher level fighter, it's that you're a higher level character. See also a fighter who takes the Magic Initiate feat; why should their cantrip scaling be tied to their fighter level? Again, it's not, it's tied to character level.

    and I personally don't feel a racial ability should be connected to class level - partly because I believe the two are unrelated, partly because this would gimp multiclassers.
    [...]
    Basing it off character level might make it feel more natural and favours multiclassers a bit more, although I concur it's not as elegant as the streamlined proficiency bonus.
    Er, you do know that multiclassing has no effect on proficiency bonus, right? A fighter 7 / wizard 6 is going to have a +5 proficiency bonus, just like a fighter 13 would, or a wizard 13. Again, proficiency bonus is tied to character level, not class level. Serious question: did you actually not know this? We all make mistakes about the rules from time to time, I'm just a little surprised you'd get something like this wrong instead of something more obscure (pun not intended, although the vision and obscurement rules are a little wacky). Though I guess multiclassing is an optional rule, so you might have never looked at it if you weren't interested in multiclass builds.

    Now, that said, I do feel like the out-of-combat regen speed might be a bit sluggish, so maybe something like CON mod + half your level might be better. That maxes out at 15 (rather than 11, as CON mod + prof. bonus does), so it's equivalent to the Ioun Stone, but I think that might be an issue with the Ioun Stone being a bit too weak.

    If you want to give it a Wolverine feel, maybe you can add something akin to Second Wind
    I could see making it an at-will use of a bonus action, but part of the appeal of regeneration is the always-on, slow-but-steady, infinite-use nature of it. You just get HP. All the time. It never stops, never runs out. Never gives you up, never lets you down. You never have to worry about when to use it, or if you'll run out. That's what healing spells are for. Heck, you could take Magic Initiate and get Cure Wounds or Healing Word, which, granted, is once per long rest rather than per short rest, but you also get two cantrips, so it's a fair trade. I don't feel like a single use of Second Wind is worth spending an ASI, but maybe you could tweak it (either heal more or get more uses or something) to make it worth a feat.

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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I did present it as an either/or, but I had to pick one specific implementation to serve as an example. I mentioned this earlier, but let me go into a bit more detail: My specific purpose was to use this for an undead race. It's based on the fact that some powerful undead, like vampires and revenants, can regenerate (and is also a nod to things like the lich, which doesn't regen HP but can regenerate an entirely new body if it dies). I felt it was too strong for a base racial trait, so instead I made it a racial feat. You can get it, if you want to, but you don't have to if it doesn't fit the character concept you're going for. I have a few other racial feats like that, such as one that grants shapeshifting into an animal, or spiderclimb (again, based on vampires, who seem to get a lot of cool abilities).

    While I do have a specific implementation in mind, I thought I'd present it more generally, particular since a half-troll race would probably be a more commonly used implementation of a feature like this than what I'd had planned.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    As for what type of damage stops regeneration, since I'm using it for undead, it will be fire and radiant. If this were for a half-troll, it would be acid and fire. If it were a general feat (i.e. not a racial feat), then I could see allowing someone to choose, but some choices would be clearly better than others.
    Yes, I read the idea you had on an undead race, but since you presented it as a feat for more general use I wanted to treat it as such in my feedback. The specific question of mine that you quoted was aimed more at your own implementation, since I became a bit confused about what you really wanted for your undead race - it started to feel more like a standard racial ability for all undead, rather than something only a select few have. If you really want to keep it optional and not something 'typical undead/half-troll', then I have my answer. :)

    Same as with the damage type: my wording was for the general use of the feat, but of course in your case it would be fire/radiant. It's also why I limited the choice to the more common types and left out the more exotic ones like radiant or necrotic. I think as a feat, being vulnerable to 2 types of damage might be a bit too high a cost. Perhaps it would be fine if one of the types was common and the other rare, like fire/radiant - but fire/acid would be weak for a PC, even if it's thematically in line with the monster that provided the feat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Apologies if this wasn't clear, but this only replaced the in-combat portion of the regeneration feat. Out-of-combat regeneration would still work the same. The intent was for it to function almost identically to the temp HP version, but regenerating real HP after damage, instead of "pre-healing" the damage with temp HP before the damage.

    As written, this continues to regenerate, even outside of combat. That's why I used the somewhat convoluted wording about taking damage between this turn and the last turn.
    Yes, I was aware you meant the in-combat version. I was specifically commenting on the part where it would only function if you had taken damage in the previous round. It doesn't make much sense if regeneration suddenly stops just because there was no incoming damage but combat was still happening, and that's what your 'convoluted wording' was suggesting. You can easily distinguish between in-combat and out-of-combat regeneration the way you have done in your first post, by separating the two and giving rules for either - there's no need to take one into account in the text of the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Er, you do know that multiclassing has no effect on proficiency bonus, right? A fighter 7 / wizard 6 is going to have a +5 proficiency bonus, just like a fighter 13 would, or a wizard 13. Again, proficiency bonus is tied to character level, not class level. Serious question: did you actually not know this? We all make mistakes about the rules from time to time, I'm just a little surprised you'd get something like this wrong instead of something more obscure (pun not intended, although the vision and obscurement rules are a little wacky). Though I guess multiclassing is an optional rule, so you might have never looked at it if you weren't interested in multiclass builds.
    I.... did not know. In my groups (both as player and as DM) we always went by 'if it's in the class table, it's a class thing' and I never felt the need to fact-check something I didn't doubt. Indeed also because we don't have any multiclassers at our table. Thanks for stating the rather obvious, as I completely missed it. I feel properly stupid. Ahem.

    Given this new information, you can completely disregard the comments I made about proficiency bonus and its relation to class level. Since it's tied to character level after all, it does feel more natural to have racial abilities that make use of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Now, that said, I do feel like the out-of-combat regen speed might be a bit sluggish, so maybe something like CON mod + half your level might be better. That maxes out at 15 (rather than 11, as CON mod + prof. bonus does), so it's equivalent to the Ioun Stone, but I think that might be an issue with the Ioun Stone being a bit too weak.
    Would that be rounded up or down on uneven levels? I assume down, but just want to make sure. While it does max out at a higher level, it is actually worse than the proficiency bonus up until level 8. So do you want to favour the early tiers (proficiency bonus) or later tiers (half level rounded down)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I could see making it an at-will use of a bonus action, but part of the appeal of regeneration is the always-on, slow-but-steady, infinite-use nature of it. You just get HP. All the time. It never stops, never runs out. Never gives you up, never lets you down. You never have to worry about when to use it, or if you'll run out. That's what healing spells are for. Heck, you could take Magic Initiate and get Cure Wounds or Healing Word, which, granted, is once per long rest rather than per short rest, but you also get two cantrips, so it's a fair trade. I don't feel like a single use of Second Wind is worth spending an ASI, but maybe you could tweak it (either heal more or get more uses or something) to make it worth a feat.
    It was mostly a suggestion to buff the feat a bit, as right now it feels more like a half feat. While it would make a lot of sense to add +1 CON to it just like you do with half feats, I thought an ability like Second Wind would feel more thematic. If you think it's meager, perhaps you can allow it twice per short rest? I wouldn't increase the healing done and just keep it at the same strength as Second Wind, but that's just my opinion.

    And yes, of course there are plenty of healing spells, but that's not the point for someone who wants this feat. I think the attractiveness of this feat is that you can heal yourself without needing magic. And that's also what Second Wind allows you to do - take a moment to focus and actively close some of those wounds. With a dramatic grimace of pain and a close-up of the wounds, maybe even a little slithery sound effect... and then a shot of the opponent's face, looking taken aback at what they just witnessed...
    Last edited by Maelynn; 2019-09-15 at 04:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Regeneration as a feat or racial trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Maelynn View Post
    Same as with the damage type: my wording was for the general use of the feat, but of course in your case it would be fire/radiant. It's also why I limited the choice to the more common types and left out the more exotic ones like radiant or necrotic. I think as a feat, being vulnerable to 2 types of damage might be a bit too high a cost. Perhaps it would be fine if one of the types was common and the other rare, like fire/radiant - but fire/acid would be weak for a PC, even if it's thematically in line with the monster that provided the feat.
    Actually, I feel like acid is more on the rare side, though maybe not as much as something like radiant damage. I feel like we could venture into the territory of categorizing damage types based on how common they are, and then requiring a "weakness" that adds up to a certain level of common-ness. For example, one really common type (one of B, P, or S, or poison), one common + one rare (e.g. fire or cold + psychic or radiant), two uncommon types (e.g. lightning + thunder, or acid + lightning), etc. But I feel like that's probably too complicated. It's probably easier to do what you did and list out several more or less common types and let the player choose one of those. Some might be more optimal, but that's only a problem when you have options that are either always taken or never taken; it doesn't matter as much if some options are chosen more often than others, as long as all the options are being taken by someone at some point.

    Although, I'm a bit curious. If, say, fire damage were to prevent regeneration, but you're immune to fire damage, would it still prevent regeneration? Technically, you're still taking fire damage, even if that damage is 0. Immunity would imply you shouldn't suffer any negative effects, but those with cold immunity still suffer the rider effects from spells like Ray of Frost or Frostbite; cold immunity wouldn't prevent you from being slowed down or getting disadvantage on your next attack.

    Yes, I was aware you meant the in-combat version. I was specifically commenting on the part where it would only function if you had taken damage in the previous round. It doesn't make much sense if regeneration suddenly stops just because there was no incoming damage but combat was still happening, and that's what your 'convoluted wording' was suggesting. You can easily distinguish between in-combat and out-of-combat regeneration the way you have done in your first post, by separating the two and giving rules for either - there's no need to take one into account in the text of the other.
    But there's no reason for the regeneration to stop once combat ends. It says I regain HP at the start of every turn. If you want to get super technical, turns only occur in combat, but most reasonable interpretations are that "every turn" becomes "every six seconds" when you're outside of combat. The problem is that the in-combat regeneration is extending to out-of-combat.

    You could do something like only regaining HP every turn for 1 minute after taking damage (so that it continues in combat, even on rounds where you don't take damage), but this will, guarantied, devolve into the player with regeneration asking another PC (probably the wizard) to punch them to trigger their regeneration. It doesn't matter that this isn't the intention, or that the players are obviously exploiting the rules, the onus is on me to write good rules instead of passing the burden on to the DM to properly adjudicate the rules and make sure they're only used as intended.

    You could also do something where you note your HP when you roll initiative, and only regain HP up to the amount you had at initiative. But this means you'll basically be perpetually at full HP because we can assume you begin each fight with full HP and again, there's no reason for the regeneration to stop once combat ends. The only way to have less than full HP is to either take damage without any initiative roll (such as from a trap) or to have two fights back-to-back, so that you make the second initiative roll before you've fully regenerated.

    The main problem is that we're having trouble defining when you do and don't regenerate. I don't want to say you only regenerate while "in combat", because I view that state as a gameplay abstraction. It's... kind of like when you're playing a game like Skyrim and all of a sudden the battle music starts before you even see any enemies; it's just too weird and immersion breaking, calling attention to the fact that it is, in fact, just a game. And again, you'll just have PCs picking fights with each other in order to trigger the regeneration, so it still doesn't help.

    I think at the end of the day, the best solution is to go back to the pseudo-temp HP, but not allow it to exceed your max HP. I think this will be easier to explain and understand. And yes, it's intentional that you don't regenerate if you didn't take damage that round, because any alternative is vulnerable to exploit.

    I.... did not know. In my groups (both as player and as DM) we always went by 'if it's in the class table, it's a class thing' and I never felt the need to fact-check something I didn't doubt. Indeed also because we don't have any multiclassers at our table. Thanks for stating the rather obvious, as I completely missed it. I feel properly stupid. Ahem.
    Heh, I've had more than my share of boneheaded rules misinterpretations, so no judgement. Honestly, I can be pretty clueless IRL, so I try to show grace to others when they do something incorrectly, because maybe no one ever told them the right way to do it, you know? It's almost always more productive to educate someone who doesn't know than to get mad at them for not knowing, and I've been on the receiving end of that education often enough to appreciate the other side of it.

    Anyway, the PHB + DMG + MM is a literal trilogy, and that's before considering things like XGtE and such. I haven't counted, but I'd be surprised if the total page count wasn't well over a thousand. Of course you're going to skim. I wouldn't expect someone to be able to quote exact passages from LotR, but that's more or less what quoting rules is. I know there are some classes I'm not very familiar with, there are probably other parts as well.

    Would that be rounded up or down on uneven levels? I assume down, but just want to make sure.
    I think it actually says somewhere in the rules (found it, page 7) that you always round down, for anything, unless otherwise specified.

    While it does max out at a higher level, it is actually worse than the proficiency bonus up until level 8. So do you want to favour the early tiers (proficiency bonus) or later tiers (half level rounded down)?
    This is one of the interesting differences between scaling with proficiency vs. level, and it will depend on what you're specifically trying to do. In think in our case, proficiency bonus by itself would work fine, but CON mod + half your level also works. Adding your CON mod makes up for the fact that half your level starts lower and takes longer to catch up to proficiency bonus. CON mod + proficiency bonus maybe starts off a bit too strong.

    I'm still not keen on how sluggish the regeneration is. Again, it would be more meaningful if a long rest wasn't a mere 8 hours, so that regenerating over several days actually did something. The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning toward either CON mod + level per hour (maxes out at 25 HP per hour with 20 CON at level 20) or changing the interval to every 10 minutes. But even just CON mod every 10 minutes means a max of 30 HP per hour, and only scales with CON. I feel torn between several competing feelings; that it should scale with both CON and level, that it should give enough HP quickly enough to be actually useful, and that it shouldn't be stronger than a powerful magic item.

    It was mostly a suggestion to buff the feat a bit, as right now it feels more like a half feat.
    Oh, well that makes more sense. Getting a Second Wind-like effect would actually fit pretty well, and help give you back enough HP to be actually useful without being OP. If it were me, I'd just buff the out-of-combat regen speed until it felt worthy of a feat, but this could work, too.

    Also, a relevant point regarding my specific implementation is that most healing spells, including both Cure Wounds and Healing Word, don't work on undead, so a Second Wind type of effect would be useful in that specific instance. I still don't think it would be worth a feat by itself, but on top of the regular regeneration it would be helpful.

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